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Coachwork by Touring
Introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 1957, the 3500 GT was Maserati’s first proper production model with approximately 2,000 of the elegant coupes built through 1964. By 1959, the grand touring characteristics of the 3500 GT were enhanced with front disc brakes, as found on this example. Chassis AM101.686 was delivered new in Bianco Neve with a gorgeous red leather interior and with engine AM101.686. Interestingly, the Maserati Classiche Department reports it was one of only five 3500 GTs known to have been sold new to Mexico.
Dipl. Ing. Roberto Sarquis, CEO of a noted media firm, took ownership in 1966. Under his stewardship, the Maserati was repainted in its original factory color. When the engine overheated and the head gasket failed, Sarquis ordered the relevant parts, but elected to store the car before having the necessary work completed. After Sarquis’s death, the subsequent custodian placed it in the care of Giuseppe Risi, owner of Ferrari of Houston and a longtime championship-winning Ferrari team leader.
In April 2011, AM101.686 was purchased by the consignor, one of the world’s foremost Maserati specialists, who supervised a painstaking two-year overhaul. This included documented refurbishment of the brakes, clutch hydraulics, fuel tank, and cooling system. The transmission was rebuilt at great expense by a ZF expert in Modena. Gaskets and seals throughout the driveline were renewed. new standard rods and main bearings, as well as thrust washers, were installed in the engine, while the head was sealed and machined, and new front and rear main seals were replaced. Inside, correct wool carpets were fitted using the original cloth binding, while the old carpets were retained to accompany the otherwise preserved interior.
The purity of this particular example is only enhanced by the charming patina and details from its provenance. Mexican license plates remain fore and aft, and affixed to the front and rear screens are numerous registration decals from the car’s time in Mexico, as well as a lovely old trident decal and a rare three-button Heuer rally timer. Perhaps an upgrade at the time, a former owner added the iniezione script to the trunk lid. Other details throughout the car, such as the original trunk lining, which has been well preserved, will delight the knowledgeable enthusiast, and this particular 3500 GT has been used as a benchmark for the restoration work of others.
This highly regarded Maserati 3500 GT continues to benefit from this extensive work and is a gorgeous sight today. With its beautiful, unrestored red leather interior, this Maserati presents an opportunity to acquire a wonderfully stylish and pure GT.